Image Credit: (Tommy Gilligan/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholas-mullick-354076184/
Ahh it is great that football is back and since it is Thursday, like the late great Brodie Lee once said you know what that means. Not only is NFL Kickoff here, but my weekly spread picks have retired and I will yet again be doing them through the entire NFL Season. As a reminder the Spread of these games are all found on DraftKings So with a fresh record let's get this party started.
Thursday Night Football
Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams (Spread +2)
This is a great game to kick off the 2022 NFL Season and is a potential superbowl prediction that many including myself have made. I got to say though, I find it funny that the Rams are underdogs in this game. I don’t hate the Bills as they are a great team, but they have to go from the east coast to west coast to perform in a primetime Thursday night game. This should still be a very fun game to watch and the game will be close. I am probably going to pass betting on this game, but with the line being a bit fishy as the Rams being underdogs, I will take the points with the Rams.
My Pick: Los Angeles Rams (+2)
Sunday Football 1:00pm
Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets (Spread +7)
When I first saw the spread for this game I was lost. How is this spread not at double digit right now. Even if Zach Wilson plays, which I highly doubt, he is not going to be healthy. Joe Flacco is most likely going to be the starter and he is terrible. Baltimore is going to destroy the Jets this week and of course I am taking the Ravens in this matchup. In fact I am so confident in my pick for Baltimore, that they are going to be my superlock for this pick for Week 1.
My Pick: Baltimore Ravens (+7)
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (Spread +5.5)
I got to say this is a very underrated matchup for Week 1. I am very intrigued to see how both teams perform this season. Look Atlanta maybe tanking, but they got very solid pieces on their squad. Plus the Saints are going to be without Trevor Penning for awhile with his foot issue and it is going to be a problem as he was supposed to replace Terron Armstead. I really wonder how the Saints will do with Dennis Allen at coach as he was awful during his time coaching the Raiders. Plus the Saints and Falcons always play close with each other and I can’t remember the last time that when these two faced that it was a blowout. I don’t see it happening now so Atlanta will be my pick for this game. I am going to pass betting on this game, but when in doubt take the points.
My Pick: Atlanta Falcons (+5.5)
Cleveland Browns at Carolina Panthers (Spread -1.5)
There are many that want the Carolina Panthers and Baker Mayfield to dominate week 1 and I kind of don’t blame them after the way the Browns threw Baker away after he has been the best QB this franchise has had since they came back in 1999. However, I really like the Cleveland Browns in this spot. I am still a Jacoby Brissett guy as he has been a very dependable quarterback. Looking at Cleveland on paper they are the better team. Cleveland ‘s defense is pretty good as well and they can wreck Carolina’s offense. So I will take Cleveland in this matchup
My Pick: Cleveland Browns (+1.5)
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (Spread +7)
I think that it is clear that the Colts are a better team on paper, but It is always at the beginning or end of the season that this team pulls a Pittsburgh Steeler and plays down to competition. Maybe that changes this year, but I can see the Colts doing that this week with the Texans. I still see them winning this game as the Texans are still rebuilding and want a Top pick to use for the future, but I think this is more of a close game. So in total the Colts win the game, but spread wise I am just going to take the points with the Texans.
My Pick: Houston Texans (+7)
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins (Spread -3.5)
I got to say this is one my favorite games to pick here, I really like the Dolphins in this game. Not only because the game is in Miami and that is the Patriots kryptonite, but there is no chance I will be betting New England one bit this year, unless the other team is seriously injured, or when they face the Bears or Steelers. I am sorry, I just can't trust this offense yet. Maybe later in the season if they perform well it will change my mind, but when you have Matt Patricia and Joe Judge running the offense, I am sorry, I really just can’t do it. The Patriots o-line is a mess and it looks like Isaiah Wynn will either not play or be playing hurt. I would not take Miami in survivor yet, as there are plenty options to choose them later in the season. Spread wise, this is a must bet and if it was not for the Ravens game, I probably would have used Miami as my superlock.
My Pick: Miami Dolphins (-3.5)
Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions (Spread +4)
This to me is the hidden gem matchup of the week for me as I am very hyped for the Lions and Eagles in the short and long term. Both teams have hope for the future, especially in Detroit. Now we all know Jared Goff will not long term be the QB in Detroit, but he is pretty dependable excluding some games where he throws the ball like a goofball. I think this game is going to be closer than what many think. I am going to predict that Philadelphia wins the game, but spread wise I will take the points with the Detroit Lions. Also I got to say, you have to be out of your mind to touch this game in survivor as there are plenty of weeks to choose the Eagles, this should not be it as it’s week one and you have plenty of choices.
My Pick: Detroit Lions (+4)
San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears (Spread +7)
If you don’t compare the QB positions for both teams, hands down San Francisco is a lot better than the Bears are. This feels like a mismatch and I think it is. The Bears did a terrible job in the offseason and are legit failing Justin Fields. I am surprised that this is not a double digit spread. Maybe it's because they are not the home team and that could be it, however I would be shocked if the 49ers lost this game, give me the 49ers in this game to win and cover the spread.
My Pick: San Francisco 49ers (-7)
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals (Spread -6.5)
It is now confirmed that Mitchell Trubisky will be the week 1 starter for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Which is the smart move as the Steelers want to give Pickett more time to learn the offense. But no matter who starts it will be an upgrade at QB from last year now. I kind of like the Pittsburgh Steelers in this game mainly because I think the spread is too high. There is no way the Steelers should be a 6.5 point underdog and I think this game will be close despite the Bengals being the better overall team. I don’t think they will win the game, but it will be a close matchup.
My Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers (+6.5)
Jacksonville Jaguars at Washington Commanders (Spread -2.5)
Out of all the games playing in the 1:00 pm slot, this one is probably the weakest game out of the bunch. I mean I really don’t know what to think of this game as both teams have question marks. If this game was delayed to week 8 this would probably be a tank game in the tournament for the 1st pick. I will say that the Commanders should not be favored in this game in my opinion. Yes Washington is the home team, but knowing how history has gone the Commanders have been terrible as a home team. Plus, the Jaguars got a lot better then last year not only because they invested in the offseason, but this Jaguars team has got a more competent coach than last year. I mean if Pederson learned his lesson after the way he departed the Philadelphia Eagles we will see, but he is 1000 times a better head coach than Urban Meyer was. This game is a no bet for me and I would stay far away from touching this game money wise, but if I had to make a choice, I am going with the Jaguars.
My Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars (+2.5)
Sunday Football 4:25pm
Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals (Spread +6)
This is a very intriguing week 1 game, that is going to answer questions on each team. I got to be honest despite the cliche Kingsbury starting off strong in the beginning of the seasons. I am kind of not so sure that will continue this season. Not only due to Hopkins being out for 6 games, but there are problems on this team. That o-line is going to get destroyed by the Chiefs pass rush and DT Chris Jones. I have a feeling Kyler is going to be running for his life in this game. Even the pass rush could be a mess as Watt has a calf injury and could miss this game. I will take the Chiefs in this matchup, despite the fact that they are playing next Thursday and could overlook this matchup.
My Pick: Kansas City Chiefs (-6)
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (Spread +1.5)
This spread confuses me, why is it this low? Like I get it is a divisional game, but does vegas realize that Aaron Rodgers is at QB and not Jordan Love? Your guess is as good as mine, The only notable unexpected player that is hurt and could miss week 1 for Green Bay is WR Allen Lazard. I mean an injury to watch as well as kicker Mason Crosby as he is dealing with a knee issue, he is going to play but it might be something to keep an eye on. I can’t wait to see David Bahktiari back at blindside tackle The Vikings are still unknown with how they will do with Kevin O’Connel at head coach. If I was O’Connell I would utilize Cook and Mattison a bunch in this game as Green Bay’s run defense is not great. This spread is super weird, but I am not falling for the bait, give me the Green Bay Packers in this game.
My Pick: Green Bay Packers (-1.5)
Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers (Spread -4)
The revenge Week 18 game. This is a very big game for both teams as it could affect their playoff odds when it comes to tiebreakers in the toughest division in the NFL. I really don’t know what to think of this team and I went back and forth in this game. Injury wise it looks like there will be no J.C. Jackson in this matchup for the Chargers. On the Raiders side TE Darren Waller might not play either. I mean I don’t know whether it is a contract negotiation reason or due to a serious injury, but I would wait for a later injury report to come out to have a clear vision of what is going on. I really don’t want to touch this game betting wise as there is uncertainty with the injuries and I feel there are better games to bet on this team, but when in doubt take the points and I will do it with the Raiders. This would be a classic Chargers special teams screw up game though.
My Pick: Las Vegas Raiders (+4)
New York Giants at Tennessee Titans (Spread -5.5)
There are many that are just blindly picking the Giants this week because they think Tennessee is overrated, which I don’t blame them for. But this Giants team stinks too. Yes the coaching should get better with Brian Daboll, but overall there are a lot of problems with the Giants especially with defense. They made a strange move cutting Blake Martinez as he was there best linebacker. At pass rush they are banged up with Leonard Williams having arm issue and there is still no word yet on if Kayvon Thibodeaux will be playing this game with his MCL sprain. But the run defense for the Giants was not great last year and King Derrick Henry should run all over this defense. The Titans while losing pieces should be okay for now, but loosing Harold Landry fur to a Torn ACL in the preseason is a big loss. While the Giants o-line did improve with Evan Neal, the interior o-line is not great for the Giants. The Titans secondary is not great either and if the Giants play this right, then they should pass well in this game, but then I realize that Daniel Jones is the QB. I just feel like the Titans overall are better than the Giants are, so I will take the Titans here. If you have not taken a look at my survivor pick article I have also made the Titans my survivor pick for week 1.
My Pick: Tennessee Titans (-5.5)
Sunday Night Football
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys (Spread +2.5)
Fun Fact, Tom Brady has never lost a game against the Dallas Cowboys. Many hate that this game is the primetime Sunday Night game, but I actually don’t mind it. Of course, the NFL would make this the game at that primetime spot as the Cowboys are the most valuable franchise in the NFL and Tom Brady is one of the most marketable players in the league. But discussing the game I have honestly gone back and forth with this game as I can see either team winning. I think Tampa Bay is more talented, but I am really concerned with the injuries on the interior offensive line and what Tom Brady’s mindset will be for this week. Now I think Tom will be fine, but like I said in my NFC Win Total article, Brady looked rough coming back from his hiatus in interviews. Hopefully he will be ready to go for Week 1 mentally. As for Dallas, excluding the terrible coaching on paper they are still a decent team. This game to me is a no bet, but I am going to take the points with the Dallas Cowboys.
My pick: Dallas Cowboys (+2.5)
Monday Night Football
Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks (Spread +6.5)
The Russel Wilson vs Pete Carroll Bowl. Very exciting to see on Monday Night. It's just too bad Seattle is terrible and are tanking to get a top pick in their rebuild. Geno Smith is starting for the Seahawks and it goes to show that the Drew Lock hype of being a franchise QB is 10 feet under. If you can’t beat Geno Smith for the starting role at QB, not only does that show that you are a scrub, but that you're probably not in the team's future long term. But back to the game if this was in Denver this would probably be a double digit point spread game and probably my survivor pick week 1. Give me the Broncos in this matchup.
My Pick: Denver Broncos (+6.5)